All You Need is Love … and Maybe a Little Creativity

With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, I’ve been thinking about my history with this holiday – specifically how my husband, Michael, and I have celebrated over the years.

Our first few (well … many) years together, I didn’t have any money for expensive gifts. Instead, I got creative. One year, I bought a nice pair of men’s dark socks and convinced my sister to stitch his initials on the band at the top. Another year, I gave him (because he’s a doctor) a picture of an X-ray of ribs with a photo-shopped (not medical) heart in the right spot.

A collection of etched cranberry glass I've bought over the years.
A collection of etched cranberry glass I’ve bought over the years.
The "tree trunk" with our initials I gave Michael one year still has a prominent place in our house.
A “tree trunk” vase with our initials.

As the years have gone by, I’ve found that I like to stick to those beginning roots of simple and heartfelt. I have given him etched Cranberry glass, our initials carved in a wood sheet made to look like a trunk of a tree and even boxers with our initials.

Once we had children and they got bigger, I would give them undies or PJ’s with hearts on them (usually from Old Navy). Then, I’d make a “fancy” dinner and plan some crazy desert I didn’t know how to make – like a chocolate soufflé one year. I’d ask them to dress nice for dinner, which often ended up like Anchorman – jammies on the bottom and sport coats or fancy shirts up top. Just a special, out of the ordinary evening together!

Boxers with our initials and our "love" blanket
Boxers with our initials and our “love” blanket

Now that our kids are grown, Michael and I have gone out to dinner some years. But it’s become such a to do – you need early reservations and it’s so expensive. I think it’s nicer to make a special dinner, dress up, light candles and make a restaurant-like atmosphere at home. Sweet and romantic!

And as for this year’s gift – I’ve already got it planned. I had a crafty friend cross-stitch napkins with our initials and bought a beautiful box with carved hearts (from my friend’s store, Maude Woods), which I’m filling with guitar picks.

This year's Valentine's Day gifts!
This year’s Valentine’s Day gifts!
My sweet hubby, Michael & me
My sweet hubby, Michael & me


Here’s to you and yours on Valentine’s Day – I hope it’s the sweetest!

My mom & her man
My mom & her man

P.S. – It’s never too late to find love! After my mother’s transition to assisted living in the fall, she met her new man and is happier than she has been in 20 years! So here’s to keeping our hearts and minds open!



  1. happy valentines day !! <3

  2. I love this post, but most of all I love your line that it’s never too late to find love. I’m still looking for someone in my life and reading about your mom made me smile and realize it might happen. And now with your help, I’ve got some ideas for our Valentine’s Day.

  3. Of course, your creativity spills right on into Valentine’s Day. I know alot of people kind of fight against the notion of this little holiday, but I really do enjoy it. In high school I used to buy two boxes of the little kid valentines you passed out in elementary school and give them to friends, teachers, and random classmates. Some of them looked at me weird, but others appreciated the gesture. I’m always looking for little ways to spread the love a little, and you don’t have to be part of a coupling to do it. But I do love the little romantic ideas, too, especially creativity with the initials. I think I’m going to come up with something around that for my husband this year.

  4. Stephanie

    Love the ideas! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your husband. The picture of your mom and her man is the sweetest photo. It must be so exciting for you to see her so happy.

  5. A long and happy marriage is the best gift of all. My husband and I celebrated on Feb. 7th because that was the anniversary of our first date. He saved lots of money on flowers. Enjoy that husband of yours. You miss them terribly when they’re gone.

  6. I love all of the creativity you put in all that you do. The simple gifts from the heart are always the best and most meaningful. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  7. Love how creative you are! Have an AWESOME VT day.

  8. Gifts from the heart are the best! Glad your mom has found love again too…you’re right, it’s never too late! Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!!

  9. Love your thoughts on making Valentine’s Day special without having to spend a lot of money. The things that come from the heart mean more anyway.

    I hope you and Michael have a wonderful, special day.

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